2019 Concert

Date posted: 05-Feb-2019

OrigiNZ, the tartan taonga are returning for the 2019 concert. Click..

Young Conservation Superstars win awards!

Date posted: 27-Jan-2019

Gabriel Barbosa and teacher Kate Asher, a team leader who co..

Entries for the 2019 photo competition

Date posted: 19-Jan-2019

We are now taking entries for the 2019 photographic competition. You can enter u..

Hihi volunteer needed

Date posted: 18-Oct-2018

Would you like to volunteer with the Island's hihi team and learn from them how ..

2019 Calendars now available

Date posted: 05-Sep-2018

The new 2019 calendars are now available and this year's is better than ever! Th..

Winners of kokako photo competition

Date posted: 02-Sep-2018

The stunning winning photographs from those submitted to the competition as part..

Kokako Celebration

Date posted: 21-Jul-2018


Kokako Photographic Competition

Date posted: 20-Jul-2018

KĊŒKAKO PHOTOGRAPHIC COMPETITION Celebrating 21 years on Tiritiri Matangi To ce..

New monitoring reports published

Date posted: 19-Jul-2018

Reports on monitoring studies carried out over the past year have now been poste..

2018 Concert coming up soon

Date posted: 15-Feb-2018

Our 2018 concert will feature an afternoon of light classics and jazz courtesy of the Auckland Ph..


Botanical name:  Myoporum laetum
Maori name:  Ngaio
Height:  10 metres

Ngaio - ripe fruitOften a dome shaped tree with bright green fleshy leaves that are dotted with oil glands. On holding the leaves up to light these are easily seen.

Delicate white flowers, spotted with purple occur between mid spring and mid summer.  B
erries ripen in summer/autumn.

Ngaio is a hardy plant that is salt and wind tolerant – ideal in exposed situations.  It is a rapid shade producer.

Maori used ngaio leaves as an insect repellent. Young shoots or an infusion of leaves were rubbed onto the skin to ward off mosquitoes and sandflies. 

Ngaio timber is said to be valued by cabinetmakers.

The genus Myoporum has about 32 species which range from Mauritius across to Australia, New Zealand Pacific Islands and up to China.
Australia has 16 species, one of which, boobialla (Myoporum insulare) also present in Tasmania, is planted around the lighthouse. The intriguingly named naio (Myoporum sandwicense) from Hawaii has hard durable timer which is used for housing.  Its leaves are used medicinally.

Myoporum species belong in the figwort family, Scrophulariaceae, which also includes foxgloves and snapdragons. Figworts are a large group of herbs, all in the genus Scrophularia. Many of them were used in folk medicine, especially in the treatment of scrofula (a swelling of lymph nodes in the neck caused by tuberculosis).

Ngaio flowers

Photography by Peter Craw
© (bottom left) and by Neil Davies © (top right)